August 25, 2010

It's Electrifying!

I'm having an attack of the "we spent how much on our electric bill?" shock. Pun fully intended by the way...

I looked to see how much we used last billing period and HOLY FREAKING COW we are sucking electricity like it is nobody's business!!!!!

I have, as a result, unplugged every thing that does not need to be in use at that particular moment. I am currently testing just how much power our cordless phone handsets suck, and will then have to multiply that by 4. Yes, 4. There are 2 adults in this house, 2 floors and only really 2 rooms in which we should need to have phones...but Costco had a special package deal when we bought our phone that came with the main one, including a nifty answering machine, as well as 3 more "expandable" handsets. We bought it. I always use the same 2 phones. The others are at BB's left hand in his office and literally at his left hand in his chair in the family room. Seriously? Can he not get out of his chair and walk the 15 feet to the kitchen counter? Yeah...I'm disgruntled.

The television has been our biggest culprit this summer, followed closely by the A/C. BB has this belief that he will melt into a big pool of...BB-ness if it is hotter than 70 degrees in our house. Don't tell him this, but I changed the daytime setting to 73, and think that is even too cold. I am, after all, in a house with a 4 year old, 2 1/2 year old, and a 5 month old. I am always cold. The kids, when we watch TV are always wrapped in blankets. So, guess what? I'm changing the daytime setting by a couple degrees. We'll save money because it will run less, we'll be more comfortable, and it will cool down in the late afternoon while the kids nap, I'm the busiest, and BB is preparing to come home. I hate A/C anyway - something about that canned stale air feeling I get. I'd rather open my windows, listen to the sounds of the birds, bugs, and screaming children, along with the thumping bass of the resident teens with loud car stereos and bad taste in music...I'd rather be warm in my house, which will then force me to play outside, because, after all, I am already hot, why not do something to stay cool? Plus, the kids will play in the basement playroom more if it is too hot in the family room, making my housekeeping easier.

Secondly, I realized that BB has been leaving my laptop turned on. Lid open, wide awake, running almost 24/7. This irritates me because it is the one thing that I truly hold as mine. I don't use his nook, or his PSP, or his other technological toys. I ask only that he respect that laptop as mine. I bought it with Mary Kay money, and use it for that purpose 90% of the time I use it. I admit to using it for FB when I'm too darn lazy to do any work and just want to sit around and surf the vast internet for random useless information...I did verify that our phone chargers don't draw a significant amount of power, but have unplugged the following devices from our outlets:
  • cell phone charger
  • bluetooth charger
  • nook charger
  • BB's work laptop power supply
  • scanner
  • blender
  • toaster oven
  • coffee maker (we don't use the clock on it, so why is it plugged in if I'm not drinking it?)
  • baby monitor (unless Littlest One is asleep)
  • fans (we have 3 in our room alone for white noise and air movement)
  • radios (each child has one in their room for white noise and they only need to be on during naps and overnight when cranky)
I have also turned off:
  • any "hot" outlet (the kids like to flip switches)
  • all ceiling fans in rooms that are not used (office, kids' rooms unless sleeping, master)
  • all lights are now turned off at wall switch where applicable
I even unplugged lamps and things in the basement, just in case they were sucking power.

I just bought 3 new wooden drying racks to insure that I've always got someplace to hang-dry clothing, since we can't find an outdoor clothesline that BB likes enough to spend money on. I've found 3, but one was from Australia and the shipping was twice the cost of the thing...Yikes!

I am reverting to tech-free days, in which, I will not turn on the television, computer, DVD player, CD player or video game system (except to work out, since I don't do a gym).

I am budgeting for bikes for Capt and DG so that we can go for "real bike rides" this fall, and early next spring.

I will not be one of those families that gets rid of technology and electricity, but I will also not be one of those people that leaves things plugged in and turned on just because.

SO, if you don't hear from me, it is because the kids and I are in the basement playing with toys, I'm outside gathering produce from my garden, hanging clothes on my drying racks, and/or simply enjoying sitting in the sunshine and turning nicely golden brown, and raising my chances of skin cancer.

PS - don't lecture me. I'm Italian and Irish, married to a Scotsman with German and Swedish blood. We are a stubborn lot, and you know what? Everything causes cancer, and I intend to fully enjoy my life, taking the blessings I've been given gratefully and loving my Creator...but He did intend us to be hanging out in a garden with Him...not sitting inside afraid of living because of the evil we brought upon ourselves.


FarmWife said...

I so wish I could turn off our AC, but then we'd all have to give up moving & breathing. That's a mid-west summer for you. 97 in the shade with 96% humidity. Yuck.

And it's been so humid I can't use my clothes lines. It makes me crazy to run the dryer & the AC at the same time, but this year it has been a necessary evil. But for some reason, our electric bill has not skyrocketed. Thank the Lord!

Good luck in getting a handle on yours.

Sarah @ Ordinary Days said...

Ooh! I can't wait to see how your bill looks next month!

And canned air? Hmm. I've never thought of it that way but I guess you're right. And I'm a big wimp that is very dependent on it. Sorry! :)